Davison varsity wrestling captures state title

Five Cards clinch individual titles

Davison’s individual state champions displayed their championship brackets. Photos provided

Davison’s individual state champions displayed their championship brackets. Photos provided

DAVISON — Davison varsity wrestling is once again king of the mat in Michigan after posting a perfect season and taking home the Division 1 state crown.

Entering the MHSAA Division 1 team wrestling finals as the top seed, Davison advanced to the state final and edged out perennial rival Detroit Catholic Central, 29-24, to claim the school’s first state title since 2006. Davison received a bye in the first-round quarterfinal, then dispatched Rockford, 62-9, in the state semifinal before facing off with Detroit CC on March 30 at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo.

The Cardinals defeated Detroit CC, 36-9, in a March 14 dual match regular-season finale but had to stave off the Shamrocks in a much tighter contest in the state final. Davison junior Cameron Freeman provided the difference by earning a 3-2 decision over Detroit CC grappler Anthony Walker at 130 pounds.

Detroit CC gained an early 9-0 advantage in the meet, with Tatum Bunn pinning Davison’s Owen Payne (140) and Camden Trupp getting a 10-3 decision over Davison’s Kyle White (145). Davison battled back with wins by James Johnston (152) over Darius Marines (3-2 decision), Josh Barr (160) over Christian Werner (pinfall) and Alex Facundo (171) over Cameron Adams (26-10 technical fall).

Davison also picked up wins from Tyler Jelinek (285), Justin Gates (103) and Caden Horwath (119).

With the win, Davison (19-0) avenged a 34-23 loss to Detroit CC (21-2) in last year’s state final. The Cardinals have now won eight state championships.

Davison’s grapplers also shined during the individual championships held on April 3, capturing five titles to lead all Division 1 schools in the 2021 MHSAA Finals.

Davison senior Alex Facundo (25-0) claimed his fourth state title with a win over Kalamazoo Central senior Leonardo Gallasso (26-11 technical fall). Facundo, who also won individual titles in 2020, 2019 and 2018, became the 30th wrestler in state history to end his career with four individual titles. The Penn State commit finished his high school career with a 134-4 record and back-to-back state championships at 171 pounds.

Sophomore Caden Horwath completed an undefeated season (27-0) with a 6-2 win over Battle Creek Lakeview sophomore Louden Stradling at 119 pounds. Horwath won a state title at 103 pounds last year.

Sophomore Josh Barr also completed an unbeaten season (26-0) in the state final over Utica Ford senior Gary Nilson, 9-1, at 160 pounds. Barr clinched a state title in 2020 at 152 pounds.

Davison freshman Justin Gates (103 pounds) picked up his first title over Macomb Dakota’s Caleb Weiand, 8-4, and junior Jimmy Colley pinned Howell senior Ethan Green in 1:00 at 215 pounds.

Davison sophomore Evan Herriman finished runner-up at 135 pounds, falling to Detroit Catholic Central sophomore Dylan Gilcher, 3-0. Senior James Johnston also finished second in his weight category (152), coming up just short to Rockford senior Trenton Wachter (5:17 pin).

A short parade to recognize the Davison Varsity Wrestling team will be held at 6 p.m., April 12 beginning at Thomson Elementary, 617 E. Clark St., and traveling east to the Davison High School campus where there will be a short ceremony to honor the team at the west entrance to the high school.